Criminal Justice Reform

I am the only candidate for Mayor who stood with the community and vocally opposed the big jail in Ferndale. I’m committed to criminal justice reform. With me as your Mayor, never again will we think about public safety without first thinking of public health. Had we done this we wouldn’t have built mass incarceration infrastructure in the first place. 

I support diversion programs that keep folks out of jail and housing in neighborhoods that support those diversions, like transitional housing for folks participating in mental health and drug courts. Studies link the increasing wealth gap to increases in crime: When folks are under tremendous financial stress they make poorer decisions. By improving access to housing that is consistent with  the jobs we have, and ensuring that folks of all income levels have access to every neighborhood, we will improve public safety and public health as well as our sense of community and quality of life.

Getting things done.

  • April developed the Justice Committee to elevate criminal justice reform as a priority for the Council. 
  • April was appointed to the Prosecutor’s transition team to work on reducing incarceration in a meaningful way and improving access to mental health and drug courts. 
  • April is working with partners to advocate for improved diversions and alternatives to jail like young adult and community specialty courts. 
  • April is developing  the concept of a Justice Center, a potential new building that would replace our degraded and outdated police department and municipal court buildings, host diversions and specialty courts and provide transitional housing for folks participating in diversions while they prepare to reenter the community. 
  • April worked with county and city partners to develop a Whatcom County resolution to support a focus on young adult incarceration reduction by improving resilience in youth. 
  • April supports the construction of a new jail in Bellingham that’s size is dependent on an independent needs assessment and is structured with community input.